I used to wear a crown – it was shiny and golden and most times, it was only visible to my eyes. But then some man or another, who called himself a king, would obviously see my crown and call me a queen: “My queen, you are beautiful and I want to be with you.” Or “I will treat you like the queen that you are.” Or “This king is seeking his queen.” Yes, I wore my crown with quasi-pride, even if I didn’t know how it’d gotten on top of my head…I never put it there. I’d read and been informed by other proud black women, who also wore their crowns, that my crown was an inheritance. I am, after all, a black woman who is special and significant. I am a black woman who is accomplished and smart – who may even come from royalty in the Motherland – from our ancestors before they were carried kicking and screaming, chained and shackled, across the sea. Across the sea, there were no crowns for our Kings and Queens…all the crowns were left at the shores. I should wear my crown and remind the world who I am…A QUEEN!
Truth be told, I don’t know if any of my ancestors were African queens or of royalty. My ancestral inheritance is unclear, but my suspicions aren’t. This crown that I sought and found – this golden crown that I have tried to convince myself to wear has never fit properly. It was constantly sliding down my head and falling to the ground. You see, as I battled the wars and attacks that came my way, my crown would never stay in place. I was never able to sit still on that queen’s throne while I waited for some king to claim me. My crown often sat crooked upon my head, if at all – the only throne I’ve ever sat before was on my knees at God’s throne. I traded in the royal queen’s scepter for a sword instead.
No, there are far too many battle scars on and inside of me to be a mere queen. My soul is not pristine and soft – it is tough and weathered and shrouded in my warrior shield. No, I’ve never been a queen and I never will be. My soul was never cut from queen cloth – instead the spirits of my warrior ancestors collectively whisper and guide me – they empower and strengthen me. When this warrior woman inside of me becomes weary, God breathes life into this body everyday – renewing me. You see, He had bigger plans for me…a masterpiece, indeed. No, a queen would never do – He created a warrior instead. Who else could do battle but a soldier. Who else could weather the storms but a ship, not a sail boat. Who else but a warrior could keep getting up again and again, after soul crushing disappointments and heartache, life changing losses and grief, setbacks and setups, trenches and foxholes, darkness and chaos. No, a mere queen would have her “subjects” around her to protect her from those things – to cushion the blows. A warrior endures and even conquers them and becomes stronger because of them.
Don’t call me a Queen. Oh, I know it’s said with good nature, and even with reverence. But that is far from who my spirit would ever allow me to be. It will not settle for less. I’m designed for greatness and only the warrior in me will bring that forth. So I’ve packed away my golden queen’s crown – the one that never fit me anyway. I’ve traded it in for my warrior gear – also invisible to the naked eye, but recognized by other warriors. The warrior in me salutes the warrior in you and I pass it down to my daughters. All “kings” looking for their “queens,” pass me by. You’d never be able to tame me and a warrior man would never want to. I’ll patiently wait on that warrior man – the one whose spirit and soul is as scarred as mine. The warrior man who seeks a woman who was never a delicate flower, but a spiritual force of love, power, resiliency and light. I will wait on my warrior man who would not seek to dilute me or “rescue” me, but to win me and honor my warrior strength and protect me with his. I’ll wait for the warrior man who knows that the only REAL king is not an earthly being, but is the Creator of the Universe and together we will honor and serve Him. I will wait for my warrior man and he will find me on the battlefield, with my shield and spear in my spirit, not with a crown.
Thank you to the unknown artists of the two works in this piece.